2018 was another successful outing for the ‘Green Stream’ at the AHA annual conference with almost 30 presenters and an expanded range of events including a plenary session for launching Animals Count, the screening of the film Understorey and a roundtable on ‘Museums and the Anthropocene’. Tom Griffiths and Julie McIntyre co-convened the ‘Green Stream’ this year and Tom was also part of the AHA conference organising committee.
As in 2017, the individual papers illustrated the rich diversity of environmental history research in Australia. 29 speakers delivered papers in two parallel streams over two days. Speakers from Germany to Tasmania, Western Australia to New Zealand and from Queensland to Victoria presented a diverse array of papers covering aspects of colonial and Indigenous environmental knowledge; some dealt with land and water or urban drought to rural salinity and with animals as well as conservation sensibilities and the Anthropocene. Similar to last year, the presenters were established academics, early career researchers, postgraduate students and historians from outside the academies.
The health of the Australian and New Zealand Environmental History Network was evident again at this conference yet it requires constant nurturing and maintenance. As a committee we are investigating ways to ensure the steady growth of the network and one step is to take up Tom’s suggestion, made at the Animals Count plenary, where he emphasised the importance of ensuring a representative of the ‘Green Stream’ was on the AHA organising committee for 2019. I am sure we are all looking forward to the offerings at next year’s conference.
By David Harris
Image: Animals Count roundtable and launch at the AHA 2018. Photo by Julie McIntyre.